In my fumble-fingered attempt to copy (supposedly with Ctrl+c) part of a column containing a few text strings in individual cells within new Google Sheets, on pasting (supposedly withCtrl+v) I ended up with the required text strings but all together in the one cell (no spaces) rather than in the same columnar format I started with. The result is not a formula, so can’t be examined for its origins.

Help > Keyboard shortcuts lists a lot of hotkeys (for, in my case, a PC) but nothing that seems to me to be described as having such an effect. Trying all possibilities could take a very long time (if only to unscramble the results from some of them!)

Searching Google for advice, other than through Help as mentioned above, with “google spreadsheet column of cell values into one cell shortcut keys” and similar search terms seems to turn up the same detail as in Help, concatenation formulae or results of little promise.

What key combination might I have pressed to result in such formula-less concatenation?

Maybe this is not as straightforward as I had expected. Additional details:

  • Widows 8.1, Firefox 34.0.5
  • Select function in Script editor shows four entries: readRows, onOpen, sort and sheetName but nothing in the 57 lines of code seems relevant.
  • The range I was expecting to copy was A2:A7 as in the image here. I have moved the cell around since (always in the same sheet) but the content was and still is:

WA71411 question example

IMO support for @hunterhogan's appreciated answer.

1 Answer 1


I suspect that a third-party application or browser plug-in is interfering with the Windows clipboard and causing your problem.

Whatever the issue is, you may be able to quickly accomplish your copy/paste goal by using the Web Clipboard tool inside of Google Docs. (Look for the collapsible section called "The web clipboard tool".) The directions are not well written, though. Basically, select A2:A7, click Edit/Web clipboard/Copy. Select your destination cell. Click Edit/Paste (or Paste Special if you prefer. In fact, a few years ago I had a copy/paste issue that I could only resolve by using Paste Special but I cannot remember the details).

Because the Web clipboard goes through the Google server, if it does not work, then submit a bug report.

I believe it will work, though. If it does work, you can troubleshoot the cause of the problem by attempting the same action on another computer, on the same computer but in a different browser, on the same computer but with all background programs disabled (especially anything that looks at your clipboard such as anti-virus, screen capture, MS Office, or a clipboard manager), same browser but with plugins disabled, and/or copy the cells and then paste into notepad (it should put the data on six lines. I thought of at least one more troubleshooting idea but it's 2 am and I forgot it while I was writing the list. Oops. Try opening and editing the spreadsheet in LibreOffice or some other spreadsheet software.

I'm also curious what would happen if instead of selecting only B2, you selected B2:B7 and then pasted.

A potential problem is if you have multiple languages and keyboard inputs installed on your computer. When Windows switches from left-to-right languages to RTL languages, whitespace characters often do crazy things. So, you probably want to avoid selecting Arabic or other RTL languages while editing. If you have MS Maren or the language bar enabled, they might mess with you, too.

In the spreadsheet, is there anything in Script Manager?

I'm either out of ideas or too tired to think of more things. Good luck!


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